I thought I was the only teen in the world whose parents refused to buy her alcohol.
And to be fair, I probably was one of the few kids in Queensland who had parents that didn’t supply them with booze.
Brisbane in the early 2000’s was a rat’s nest of house parties. Before we all learnt to sneak into clubs underage, we terrorised suburban backyards with an onslaught of kitten heels and Lynx Africa and two-tone hairstyles.
Cranky parents would be delegated to the veranda to get pissed with the other cranky parents, shooed away with a furious hiss should they dare, dare talk to someone at the party.
There were bathtubs full of ice and floating stubbies of XXXX, laundry tubs with six-packs of alcopops, tables strewn with bottles of Kirks Lemonade, and the sickly sweet smell of Bundy Rum and coke lingering from an unknown source.
Parents were there, 'supervising'.
But their role was generally to drink enough red wine that by midnight, someone's mum was pulling embarrassing moves on the dance floor, whilst someone's dad was bellowing for the lads to start picking up beer cans and putting them in the bin.
And to go home. Now.
House parties were our earliest experience of mixing booze and boys; and were a veritable melting pot of sloppy, 20 minute pash sessions, awkward jokes, and being thrown under the bus by your best friend who spilled the beans about your crush on Tom only because she wanted to hook up with Tom's best friend Jacko.
Perilous, perilous times.
The crutch that held it all up was the booze.
It was critical: it established the cool parties from the lame. It separated the rookies from the seasoned players (easily deciphered by what hour you would vomit into the potplant by), and acted as a sieve to filter out the brave from the timid, the strong from the weak, the mature from the young.
Alcohol gave the whole situation an adult edge. Even if the actual adults were watching on from the deck above.
But it seems that's all about to change.
In an article from the Sydney Morning Herald, youth drinking levels are dropping dramatically thanks to less and less parents opting to purchase their teen's booze.
"In 2007, 22.4 per cent of underage drinkers sourced their alcohol from parents," says the article.
"By 2013, that number was slashed to 11.8 per cent but parents remained the second-most common source of drinking, only trailing behind friends."
The massive drop of 22.4% to 11.8% of parents willingly buying alcohol for their underage children is an interesting observation, but the fact remains - should they have even been doing it in the first place?
Growing up in Queensland, the approach towards underage drinking was fairly lackadaisical. Whilst my parents were never big drinkers, and never ever advocated underage drinking; the general attitude of our community was it was a 'rite of passage'.